The supratemporal sources of the earliest auditory cortical responses (20-80 ms) were identified using simultaneously recorded electroencephalographic (EEG) and magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data. Both hemispheres of six subjects were recorded two or three times in different sessions in response to 8000 right-ear 1 kHz pure tones stimuli. Four components were identified: Pa (28 ms), Nb (40 ms), and two subcomponents of the Pb complex, termed Pb1 (52 ms) and Pb2 (74 ms). Based on MEG data, the corresponding sources were localized on the anatomy using individual realistic head models: Pa in the medial portion of Heschl's gyri (H1/H2); Nb/Pb1 in the lateral aspect of the supratemporal gyrus (STG); and Pb2 in the antero-lateral portion of Heschl's gyri. All sources were oriented antero-superiorly. This pattern was clearest in the contralateral hemisphere, where these three activities could be statistically dissociated. Results agree with previous invasive human intracerebral recordings, with animal studies reporting secondary areas involved in the generation of middle latency auditory-evoked components, and with positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging studies often reporting these three active areas although without temporal information. The early STG activity may be attributed to parallel thalamo-cortical connections, or to cortico-cortical connections between the primary auditory cortex and the STG, as recently described in humans.
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